Whole Foods Market announced the winners of its seventh annual Supplier Awards, which honor suppliers that embody the company’s mission and values through their commitment to quality, environmental stewardship, organic integrity, innovation and partnership.
The winners were named at a reception held in Austin, Texas, on April 10.
“We’re proud to recognize these suppliers who offer outstanding products aligned with our mission, values and the high-quality standards that we’ve championed for nearly 40 years,” A.C. Gallo, president and chief merchandising officer at Whole Foods Market, said. “This year’s honorees were selected from thousands of brands and represent the best-in-class in sourcing, industry-leading innovation and win-win partnership.”
SmartSweets was awarded rookie of the year for reinventing the classic gummy bear and disrupting the candy category. In about one year, SmartSweets catapulted from a small, Canadian start-up to one of the true growth engines of the candy category at Whole Foods Market. Free from added sugar, sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners, SmartSweets gummy bears allow customers to feel good about eating candy.
A total of 30 awards were distributed this year, with recipients including local, regional and national brands across perishable and non-perishable product categories. Whole Foods Market named two global suppliers and 11 regional partners as “Supplier of the Year” and recognized a variety of others for outstanding achievements in various categories that reflect Whole Foods Market’s core values. The honorees were selected by Whole Foods Market category experts and buyers who work closely with our suppliers every day.
Other suppliers honored by Whole Foods:
Global Supplier of the Year & Environmental Stewardship
Wild Planet Foods
Global Supplier of the Year & Purpose Driven Empowerment
Raising the Bar for Quality
OSI Industries LLC
Awe Sum Organics
Purpose Driven Empowerment
Rookie of the Year
Alpine Fresh Inc.
Tsar Nicoulai Caviar
Service & Partnership
4 x 400 Consulting
Local & Regional Suppliers of the Year
Aramouni International, Inc. & Nature’s Healthy Gourmet, Inc. (Port St. Lucie, FL)
Inspire Pure Botanicals (Philadelphia, PA)
FILLO’S Americas Made (Geneva, IL)
North Atlantic Region
UTEC, Inc. (Lowell, MA)
Northern California Region
Humphry Slocombe (San Francisco, CA)
Crown Finish Caves (Brooklyn, NY)
Pacific Northwest Region
Woodlot (Vancouver, British Columbia)
Rocky Mountain Region
SoulRise Tribe (Salt Lake City, UT)
La Farm Bakery (Cary, NC)
South Pacific Region
Pensieve Foods LLC (Los Angeles, CA)
Val Verde Vegetable Co., Inc. (McAllen, TX)